Yesterday the Marlins fired hitting coach John Mallee. Today Logan Morrison made it clear that he — and possibly others on the team — were not at all happy with the move.
“They felt Mallee had to go. I don’t feel that way. He’s there from day one. He got me to the big leagues. I was a 22nd rounder for a reason. I made the big leagues for a reason. And he was in between that time … I don’t think when you let somebody go who’s been with us since day one, you’re going to be any more relaxed. I think you’re going to be more (upset) than anything.”
Morrison believes that firing Mallee was owner Jeffrey Loria’s decision, not general manager Michael Hill’s or President Larry Beinfest’s. Which would square with the way Loria inserted himself into the Marlins’ managerial drama last year, first with Fredi Gonzalez’s firing and then with the will-they-keep-Edwin-Rodriguez thing that clouded the end of the season and the beginning of the winter.
But hey, that’s life with Loria, and Logan Morrison has no choice but to get used to it.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.